In terms of popularity, speed dating has become very big since the start of this decade, as it can remove a lot of the searching from the process of finding the right partner. People have taken to speed dating in a big way because, for the most part, it takes away some of the awkwardness of looking for a partner.
When trying to find someone with whom to share the dating experience, there is a certain amount of dread attached to approaching someone who may or may not be “available”. They may be in a relationship, they may be taking a voluntary break from dating altogether, or they may be interested in a different sort of person. However valid and inoffensive their reason for passing on the opportunity, it still hurts to be rejected. At a speed dating event, it is clear that everyone is there for the purposes of meeting a potential dating partner. If they then do not want to date you, it is just a matter of taste. Hard to accept, maybe, but at least there is clarity.
As well as this, speed dating allows you to meet the person face to face and see if you feel a connection before embarking on a “real date”. Sometimes a first date, especially a “blind date” can be a harrowing and embarrassing experience for both people because they simply do not “hit it off”. Speed dating gives you the chance to see if the spark is there before investing unrealistic expectations.